It is highly recommended that if one has to choose between two permissible alternatives, one should offer two recommended rak`ahs during any time of the day or the night, and recite therein whatever one wishes from the Qur’an after reciting Surat Al-Fatihah.
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to teach us the Istikharah Prayer for each and every matter as he used to teach us the Surah from the Qur’an. (He used to say), “If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two rak`ahs (units of prayer) prayer other than the obligatory prayer, and then say: ‘O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favor, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know this affair -and here he mentions his need- to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.’” Then he should mention his matter (need). (Al-Bukhari)
In this short talk, Dr. Ahmad Saqr explains the rulings and etiquettes of the Istikharah Prayer (Prayer for seeking guidance) in the light of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).